This six-move leg and core workout can be done with just one dumbbell

Build stronger legs and work your core with this effective six-move single dumbbell routine

Man doing a dumbbell goblet squat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Gyms and fitness centers have lots of equipment; some to target specific areas like your arms or legs, and some to train your whole body. But with this six-move routine, you can work multiple muscles (including your core) with just a single dumbbell.

If you want to do this routine and enjoy working with weights, it's worth investing in a set of the best adjustable dumbbells. These customizable weights combine several dumbbells into one, so you won't need to find space for a weights rack at home.

Rather than focusing on traditional dumbbell moves like bicep curls, personal trainer Rhiannon Bailey guides you through strength-building exercises to train your lower body and work your core.

The workout is split into three parts; a two-move superset, a three-move triset, and a high repetition finisher. Although it's just six moves, it'll help you build functional full-body muscle.

Bailey designed this routine to include "unilateral exercises to iron out any imbalances and improve overall strength." If you're ready to give it a go, she posted video tutorials on Instagram so you can learn the form and get the most from your training. 

Watch Rhiannon Bailey's six-move dumbbell workout

The workout includes lower body staples like goblet squats and lunges, but a few less common moves like the dumbbell swing. This is similar to the kettlebell swing, but it works different muscles as the weight is more evenly distributed.

There's variety in the exercises, but also in the way that you train. Bailey has designed the workout for maximum effect, so the first two exercises form what's known as a superset, where you do both moves before taking a short break.

After four rounds, you'll move onto the triset, a three-move workout plan to build muscle fast. This is similar to a superset, but you do three moves back-to-back before taking a break. If you want to try out the routine, all the exercises you need are listed below.

Six-move lower body dumbbell workout

  • Superset (3-4 rounds):
    • Goblet squat (8-12 reps)
    • Bulgarian split squat (8-12 reps)
  • Triset (3-4 rounds):
    • Static lunge (8-12 reps)
    • Dumbbell swings (8-12 reps)
    • Static Romanian deadlifts
  • Finisher:
    • Single leg glute raise (20, 15, 10, 8,5 reps each side)

It's a workout that'll activate your legs, but your core, a section of mid-body muscle that includes your rectus abdominis (the six-pack ab muscle), also plays a big role here. Strengthening your core improves your balance, circulation, and workout performance.

If you want a quick way to work your core, consider picking up one of the best ab rollers. These budget-friendly wheels help you roll out into a plank position for an effective, muscle-building ab workout.

James Frew
James Frew

James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.


In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.